The Trouble with “Harry”: Prince of Walezzz

Harry and Kingsley try to teach Kimberly how to play cricket.
I Wanna Marry "Harry" (Photo: Chris Raphael / Fox)

I Wanna Marry “Harry” Episode 2: “Competing for the Crown” — Fox’s dating hoax continues, as does the inherent misogyny, ickiness, and boredom.

I don’t know what Clare and I have gotten ourselves into,1 but it is giving me an intense case of the sads. I Wanna Marry “Harry” is a pale imitation of what Mike Darnell used to produce for the network. Now those duties have been supplanted by Ryan Seacrest, executive producer of the defunct but equally misogynistic Mixology. Slow clap for Ry-Guy, y’all.

I think part of my sadness for this show comes from the fact that this barely registers on the spectrum that contains Joe Millionaire and The Joe Schmo Show. Although the show is similar in format to Joe Millionaire, the older series did not use a notable figure as the basis for its ruse.2 Although it could be conceivable that an eccentric millionaire would participate in a show of this nature, the implication that the fourth-in-line to the British Throne is so hard up for ladyfriends that he would deign to participate is preposterous, and an exercise in saying “look at these dumb women—they’re so dumb.” This is also why the show does not rank anywhere near TJSS. The level of prank is far more sophisticated on Spike’s series, but deep down it comes from a good-natured place: they want to have fun with the marks and then all is revealed without the purpose of emotional manipulation.

The other problem with I Wanna Marry “Harry”: jeezy creezy is it boring. Misogyny and the objectification of its subjects aside, the reason I can’t stand shows of this ilk is that nothing happens. The amount of audio on this show dedicated to narration baffles me—it’s supposed to be a TV show, not a TV tell. Because 90% of the “action” is indicated through voiceover and talking head interviews, I have no sense of who anyone is. Even vague descriptions won’t help, as it turns into a vapid game of Guess Who? In fact, let’s play that instead—it’s a more entertaining way to spend an hour.

Other observations:

  • The gender dynamics infuriate me. The imported harem cast of contestants are always referred to collectively as “girls.” Kingsley, the butler, always refers to “Harry” as “sir,” implying that the women are to refer to him as such also.
  • “She’s not good enough for Prince Harry.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
  • “I still want the real Matt Hicks to come through.” The fundamental flaw in his gameplan is attempting to build a relationship on a foundation of a lie. Eh, whatever.
  • “It’s hard to have positive or negative feelings.” Put another way, it’s hard to have feelings.
  1. You knew the risks when you signed on, captain! -Mooch  
  2. Sidebar: Matt Hicks, the guy pretending to be Prince Harry, barely resembles the Prince of Wales.  

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles

Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it “TV Camp.” After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv

  • Clare Snyder

    I watch this show for one reason only: the last three minutes, when all these drunk, sloppy women get into screaming fights about being too drunk and sloppy.It is magically delicious television. Can’t wait to cover next week! Looks like one of them might drown!